20 Reasons Why Atlanta is America’s Music Capital

We are Migos

Offset, Quavo, and Takeoff of Migos at Met Gala 2018

Photograph by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

There may be debate about the origins of the group’s name—is it short for “amigos,” the Spanish word for “friends,” or is it slang for a drug house?—but nobody’s debating whether Lawrence­ville-raised Migos is making a big impact. The trap trio has become so iconic that actor, rapper, and fellow Atlantan Donald Glover thanked them in his 2017 Golden Globes Award speech, calling Migos “the Beatles of this generation.” Indeed, the group tied the Beatles for the most simultaneous entries for a single group on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Quavious Marshall (Quavo) and Kiari Cephus (Offset) are cousins, and Kirshnik Ball (Takeoff) is Quavo’s nephew. The three have been rapping together since middle school in Gwinnett County, where other kids made fun of them for trying to be superstars. Childhood friend Jerel Nance became their first manager, drove them to clubs like Belushi’s and Obsessions, and shot their album covers with his iPhone camera. After putting out numerous mixtapes and gaining a large following for their new flows and stuttering beats, the three caught the attention of hip-hop star Drake, who was featured on the group’s song “Versace,” released in 2013.

Migos went on to hit it big, with single “Bad and Boujee” getting heavy rotation in 2016 and two albums hitting no. 1 on the Billboard 200, and they’re still workhorses in the studio. When working at their label Quality Control’s 11th Street Recording Studios, Quavo goes in after 10 a.m. and records five or six songs in a session. Offset heads to the studio at 1 a.m. and leaves at 10 a.m. Takeoff stays there for two days straight, Nance says. They don’t drink coffee, but they do eat a lot of Fruit Roll-Ups, and they take breaks to play NBA 2K on PlayStation 4, betting $5,000 on whether they’ll make a shot.

While members often go separate ways to appear on other albums, they always return to each other, and to Gwinnett County. It’s where Migos, and their now-iconic sound, came from.